Yoga is a beautiful tool for communicating with people. However, its reach is limited.
The public’s perception of what yoga is and what yoga does is tainted. Far too often, yogis are portrayed as idiots who are so out of touch with reality. You’ve seen them: the aging men wearing robes or something that resembles a diaper… or as the smiley chick in spandex doing some crazy pose on the cover of many magazines on display at your local Whole Foods… or as the long-haired hippie who touches your spouse in inappropriate places during yoga class while on a couples retreat.
That’s what the public sees…
What they don’t see is that behind each yoga studio door, we are collectively studying what is energy. We are practicing presence. We are basically like Luke in Star Wars – learning to use the force.
I recently watched Star Wars again. Having seen it probably close to 100 times as a child, it was fascinating to watch it through the eyes of someone who has studied yoga. My favorite concept from the film is the force, followed by the myth of the hero.
When Luke asks Han if he believes in the force, Han says there is no proof of one force controlling everything. There are some of my students who are just like Han Solo – they hear the word ‘energy’ just like Han hears ‘the force’ and think it is a bunch of nonsense.
We all want proof. Science gives us proof. Yoga is a science.
I only know what my experience on the mat has proven to me. Every time I step on the mat, I form a hypothesis, perform the experiment, and come to a conclusion. I don’t know if the artistic side is creating the experience or the scientific method is proving the hypothesis.
Either way, the force is one hell of a ride –